Samref wraps Yanbu refinery revamp

Saudi Aramco-Mobil Refinery Co. Ltd. (Samref), a 50-50 joint venture of Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary Mobil Yanbu Refining Co. Inc., has completed modifications and renovations related to a clean-fuels project (CFP) at the Samref refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

Samref has finished construction on and commissioned major desulfurization installations, including a hydrotreater, as part of the Yanbu CFP, ExxonMobil said.

Completion of the project will cut sulfur levels in gasoline and diesel produced at the plant by more than 98% to 10 ppm, the company said.

“The successful, recent start-up of the CFP illustrates the refinery’s advancements and preparations to meet global energy demands,” said Darren Woods, senior vice-president of ExxonMobil.

The CFP was designed to equip the Yanbu refinery to comply with Saudi Arabia’s 2013 mandatory specifications for gasoline and diesel with 10 ppm sulfur and was to be constructed in phases, according to a Jan. 28, 2009, release from Worley Parsons Ltd., to which Samref awarded front-end engineering design and full responsibility for engineering, procurement, and construction on the project.

Phase 1, originally slated for start-up during first-quarter 2013, was to include installation of a grassroots desulfurization unit to treat 60,000 b/d of gasoline from the refinery’s fluid catalytic cracking unit as well as the revamp of a 98,000-b/d distillate hydrotreater and plant utilities infrastructure, Worley Parsons said.

Scheduled for start-up by yearend 2015, Phase 2 of the project was to include installation of a high-pressure distillate hydrotreater as well as units for hydrogen manufacturing and sulfur recovery, the service provider said.

In 2009, Worley Parsons said the value of the FEED and EPC contracts for the CFP could reach as high as $400 million.

Neither Samref nor its individual owners disclosed details regarding either the final cost of the project or additional modifications included as part of the refinery’s revamp.

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